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Police Cracking Down On Illegal Fireworks, Drunk Driving Over Holiday Weekend

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Suffolk County police set up a road block in Port Jefferson checking seatbelts and driving violations on July 1, 2011 (credit: CBS 2)

Suffolk County police set up a road block in Port Jefferson checking seatbelts and driving violations on July 1, 2011 (credit: CBS 2)

NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) – The city is warning New Yorkers about the consequences of buying, selling or using illegal fireworks.

Police Commissioner Ray Kelly says the 4th of July still represents the apex of the city’s problems with fireworks, but says years of crackdowns have improved the situation.

“But there will still unfortunately be people out there using illegal fireworks resulting in injury obviously it could result in death as well,” said Kelly.

WCBS 880’s Rich Lamb reports: Kelly Says Getting Caught With Illegal Fireworks Not Worth It

NYPD bomb squad technicians destroyed nearly 5,000 pounds of confiscated fireworks at the police firing range in the Bronx on Friday.

nypd fireworks destruction Police Cracking Down On Illegal Fireworks, Drunk Driving Over Holiday Weekend

NYPD destroyed nearly 5,000 pounds of confiscated fireworks (credit: NYPD)

So far, police have arrested more than 40 people. Consumer fireworks are illegal in both New York and New Jersey.

Meanwhile, all across the Tri-state area, police are out with eagle eyes making sure you stay safe this holiday weekend. Police say July 4 is one of the most dangerous travel weekends.

Friday night in Port Jefferson, Suffolk County police set up a road block checking seatbelts and any driving violations.

“It’s the job of the aggressive driving task force to get the public to where they’re going, alive,” said Officer Hodge of the Suffolk County Police Department.

Police pulled over Dennis Dedd for not posting his truck registration, a delay in his travel plans he says he doesn’t mind.

“It’s not even an inconvenience. You take 30 seconds out to save a lifetime,” said Dedd.

Boater Jay Hvisic made sure he was properly geared up to hit the water this weekend.

“That the bilge is secure, that my flares aren’t expired and up to date,” said Hvisic. “The life jackets are on board. Checked to make sure the radio works. So we should be ready to go.”

And that’s exactly what the New Rochelle harbour patrol is hoping to see. Police say they expect to make arrests all weekend. They say boating safety is literally a matter of life and death.

“Last summer we had two people die out here,” said Ed Coleman with New Rochelle police. “One person was on a sailboat when a squall came through and they were not wearing life jackets. The first death we had was a guy who was drunk and high on drugs and went for a swim off a boat and never came back. “

In New Jersey, you may notice more state troopers out this holiday weekend. They will be watching for speeders, tailgaters and drunk drivers.

Troopers are also patrolling transit hubs like the Port Imperial ferry terminal in Weehawken and are encouraging folks to call authorities about anything suspicious.

“The high visibility is to ensure the public is that we are out and about. That they can reach out to us and we can be there and respond to any emergencies,” said state police Lt. Jeff Algor.

WCBS 880’s Levon Putney reports: NJ State Troopers Stepping Up Patrols For July 4 Weekend

On the Jersey shore, police near beaches are also cracking down on underage drinking with undercover cops in liquor stores.



Most folks are praising the added precautions this holiday weekend.

“It’s really good that we have a great police department that can protect us and keep us safe,” said Marcella Cirisano.

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